My Way Home

Armenian by Birth
The Difficulties of Moving
The Difficulties of Moving
Daring to move is quite difficult, especially when there is no apparent reason. When everything is fine with your family, work, friends, future prospects, and everything else with which you can live a happy life, an obscure idea such as “I want to move” confronts the complexities of a calm and reasonably stable situation.
After all, every relocation, even within the same city or street, even within the same house, can be rather tedious and unpleasant as a process. For this particular situation,  Russians has a proverb which says: “Two moves equals a fire.” There is common sense in these words. I think many people who have thoughts about such a step, but reject it at the early planning stages, are guided by this consideration.
Potential challenges associated with moving seem to be a huge obstacle, which dominates all other thoughts, and it is unclear from where to initially start. However, if you approach the matter sensibly, it turns out that many of the problems are surmountable, while others aren’t even problems at all. The latter is possible to solve quite easily.
My family was thinking of moving from Russia to Armenia for years, yet, in the end, we decided to take that leap in just a matter of a few days. We just sat down and wrote our goals, we wrote  about what we needed to do, what we didn’t need to focus on, and finally, what we should be thinking when we finally get to the stage of departure. As it turned out, our plan of action and conversely, inaction, no less important in the grand scheme of things, somehow immediately turned the dream into reality. With a set deadline, and time as a motivational and disciplinary factor, realizing the dream came rather quickly.
Further, in our case, the number of issues concerned with moving was not only related to jobs and housing but in addition, re-issuing of bank cards, clearing all the family members of their medical documentation, and paying off all the penalties and taxes so that we could leave the country in good conscience.
The plan for moving also included updating the children’s wardrobe in frequented shops, a farewell party for hundreds of thousands of people and the prophylactic treatment and prevention of all possible diseases for the year ahead.
Another important point in the task list for the move was sending personal items to Armenia. To accomplish this, we searched the Internet, phoned friends, and gathered all the tips to help us choose the best option for the transportation of goods.  Ultimately, we decided to use the option for terrestrial cargo transportation, with the help of one of Armenian specialized companies. They not only commanded a reasonable fee, but also claimed to be very efficient, and have intimate knowledge of the local realities and nuances related to transportation and customs. Since we believe and it proved to be the case that local companies work much better with Customs and other border related organizations.  In addition, the local Armenian companies can assist with  reliable information regarding permitted amount, weight, composition and cost of the cargo for import into the country.
However, the technical and financial aspect of moving is certainly not the only deterrent for moving to another country. The biggest problem is probably the inevitable “chopping off the roots.” Nearly everyone, after living in a particular environment for a long period of time will become accustomed to the habits customs, and circle of contacts for their given region.  It is extremely difficult and painful to voluntarily extract yourself from what you’ve become habituated to. Losing a world familiar to yourself and jumping into the unknown fraught with unseen challenges is psychologically difficult and trying. This sense of helplessness, loss and confusion is probably impossible to prepare for, but we must all understand that it is only temporary, and as such, it must be simply endured.
My wife  and I have had this experience, as we both settled in Russia, via different places of origin, many years ago. In my case, 16 years ago, this moment occurred two months after the beginning of life in a new place.
However, at the same time,  we have  had another experience: Establishing a new round of dialogue, communication, relationships and possessions. The experience of growing up in a new and completely different system, as well as the partial loss of the old one prepared us for our inevitable move to Armenia.
One July evening, we closed the door of the apartment in which we had lived for the past 8 years, where our family and our children were born, and we climbed into the loaded car and left Moscow.  After overcoming the distance of 2060 kilometers, we crossed the border of Armenia, and this particular time, not as tourists to a tourist destination.
Contributed by Hayk Zalibekyan
Translation from Russian into English by Seda Harutyunyan

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